Bonjour! My name is Madelaine Spangler, and I am a senior at the College from Richmond, Virginia. I am a French and International Relations double major.
As a young child, I fell in love with French language and culture. My mother speaks French fluently, and whether she was teaching me simple words or reading Madeline at bedtime, I knew that I wanted to learn the language myself. Fortunately, I was able to take French classes at the high school level from 6th-12th grade. I was accepted at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, a high school for students interested in government and international studies, where my passion for French and politics grew. This combination of interests made William and Mary my clear first choice for college, and I ended up applying early decision!
When I first came to William and Mary, I wasn’t sure if I could handle the International Relations and French double major that I wanted to pursue. Fortunately, I was assigned the best freshman academic advisor I could ever ask for in Professor Giulia Pacini. She encouraged me to “go for it” and pursue a French major, and I cannot express enough how grateful I am for all of encouragement and assistance she has given me. Once I decided to major, I enrolled in some of the most interesting classes of my college career! From a seminar on the French Revolution to a course on francophone Africa, these courses not only enriched my knowledge of French culture, but also enhanced my understanding of many concepts I was simultaneously studying in my international relations classes. I was even lucky enough to spend a summer studying abroad in Montpellier between my sophomore and junior year, where I put my language skills to the test in what I consider a journey of true self-discovery.
I am very sad to graduate this December and leave behind such an amazing group of friends and professors, but I know that I am leaving the College with the skill set to pursue my dreams and one day become a Foreign Service Officer. In the meantime, I am planning to serve as a Legislative Aide during the 2013 Virginia General Assembly session and will continue to pursue opportunities that combine my passions for both government and French.
A plus tard!